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IoT Development Pushes for Digital Transformation of PLM Systems

Internet of Things (IoT) is shaping the face of modern business operation forcing it to build a competitive advantage. Collaborative management and continuous engineering call into being reliable and smart connected products and systems, which help companies stay afloat in the face of uncertainty and complexity.

IoT and Digital Industry 4.0

IoT is not only a buzzword; it is the reality with 9 bln devices being connected to the Internet, including smartphones, computers, RFID readers, and sensors. In the coming decade, the specialists are predicting a drastic growth up to 1 trl connected things. These figures show a serious shift in the paradigm, which brings the necessity to avoid the obsolescence in the environment of constantly changing operations and consumer demands. This challenge can only be addressed by designing the products with the embedded software to control their continuous improvement and update. Sometimes you can meet the term: 4th Industrial revolution (Digital Industry 4.0) enabled by IoT when highly intelligent connected systems create fully digital value chains.

Legacy PLM Solutions and Digital Industry 4.0

The physical objects around us are designed and produced with the certain kind of PLM system touch. The development of product process differs from one company to another. Some use CAD to create 3D models and this is enough for them but some operate scalable PLM platforms with dozens of customers and millions of products stored. Irrespective of the level of PLM system usage, the most global organizations expect them to address the IoT reality. When the PLM engineering is subjected to the Digital Industry 4.0, we think of embedded sensors, processors, and software in products connected to the cloud via the Internet, which analyze and store product usage data. The open discussion is though should we manage the product or the information received from the product.

On the way to approach the IoT software implementation, any PLM development company should realize the importance of digital connectedness between mechanical, electronic and software development, as well as, cross-enterprise expertise from manufacturing to support, service, and maintenance.

The majority of legacy PLM solutions are hard to turn into IoT digitally transformed ones. Over the half of PLM system vendors claim that their products do not enable the collaboration across disciplines. Another salient feature and the obstacle for IoT solution implementation is that, typically, the extended enterprise value chain supports very few users to get access to the system. Only 21% of global manufacturers could support more than a thousand of users with their PLM systems. Finally, 75% of vendors confess that their PLM systems are hard to handle the changing business requirements.

The dangers of the today’s PLM systems status is that the fragmented processes could become a real headache. It brings into life data and system gaps, unaddressed business processes, lack of data sharing and lack of general flexibility that can undercut the new product initiatives. For the truly digital transformation and IoT implementation to be a success, the PLM platform is required to fill in gaps to connect system silos into a holistic solution that meets current and future business requirements.

PLM and IoT

Scand engineers have relevant expertise in the development and support of huge PLM systems based on Microsoft.NET technologies and on AML/XML meta-model description language. We have a clear understanding how to turn legacy PLM systems into digitally transformed ones. In this particular situation, the discussion is about the cooperation between the engineering branches. Some companies manufacture sensors, some have the expertise to program them. Others know the marketing and business trends or how to use the sensors to the most effective way. And finally, some companies, including us, know how to proceed the data received from the sensors efficiently with the help of Big Data Analytics and cloud storage.

Benefits of IoT introduction into PLM systems:

– unified approach;

– common data model to manage the entire system;

– tracking and managing the integrated software and hardware product requirements;

– ensure the compatibility of an entire product;

– product detect and change of the management process across software and hardware;

– data consolidation from multiple resources;

– manages the product definition across the entire lifecycle;

– provide analytical and reporting capabilities.

The growth of product management complexity, digitally transformed with the help of IoT programming, is a steady going process reshaping all industries. The sooner companies respond to that by providing a better-integrated product development processes and systems the better. Unfortunately, some PLM system vendors find cross-discipline collaboration extremely difficult. Companies trying hard to respond to new, unforeseen, and vague business requirements also exacerbate this issue. New approaches and tools to bring Digital Industry 4.0 into life exist and we are ready to apply them to move PLM systems forward.

If you are interested in any PLM system development or IoT implementation please contact us using the form below. In case you have experience in PLM and/or IoT and would like to apply your skills, we invite you to join our team!

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Author Bio

Alex Burets Head of Web Development Department
Alex has 19 years of experience in software development, delivering new and innovative solutions for a myriad of different companies, ranging from small startups to large-scale enterprises with massive programming needs. His main focus areas are web development, front-end development, and eCommerce solutions.

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